A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Creating Texture with Mixed Media and Fun Bits - part 1

This is one of my favorite subjects.

First, because I LOVE finding stray or lost items and using them in my art.

Second, because I ENJOY the creative process in incorporating items originally designed for other uses.

This will be a session that easily comes under the heading of Actual Texture. These pieces are very tactile and even though one can't reach out and touch them, the eye can comprehend what it must feel like. (Just as an aside, I've often thought about having an exhibit that says Please Touch The Art! Only downside would be....they would be difficult to sell after that I would imagine.)

Anyway, back to the present.  Over the years I have accumulated bits and things from beads, buttons, charms, etc to rattlesnake bones, porcupine quills, buffalo teeth, etc. They lie there in their little drawers just waiting for the time when they can jump onto the fabric or canvas and become part of a work of art. Some wait for years, others are used almost right away. Sometimes I purchase new items and give them an aged patina because I need them NOW!  But I have to admit...the most fun is finding a rusted washer in the driveway of a friend's house (just happened last month), or on a walk, or a gift from a friend (all my friends know I collect stuff and will usually ask me before throwing thing out! I have trained them well!!) Several of my prized possessions have been found for me by my grandchildren.  All are awaiting their moment to shine!

Sometimes I use the items so that they are themselves, other times I use them to represent something else.

For example:

When I designed "It's About Time" I used a lot of watch parts like they were falling out of a pocket watch. They are watch parts and were used to display parts of a watch.


Another piece where I used watch parts but they represented something else...in this case flowers...in this piece entitled "Spring Forward"

So your porcupine quills don't have to be part of an art quilt about porcupines...they can be a MILLION things!! Your imagination is the only limit.

As I showed you the first week...I have used crushed pecan shells and bark cloth from Uganda to add texture to a tree.

One of the pieces I'm working on is a stitched quiltlet which will be stitched onto canvas. But the quiltlet has used a lino print for the design on the manhole cover, metallic foil for the rim of the cover. The "bricks" are created with paint and stitching in the "mortar" to create depth. All of these techniques create the texture of the manhole cover in the bricks. Here is the quiltlet. Depending on when I get my sewing machine back from the shop (needed a GOOD cleaning!) perhaps I will have the completed project to show you by the end of this week.

So...some homework for tonight!! (Oh I actually heard all those cheers!!!) Look around your studio, yard, driveway, mall parking lot, kitchen, workshop....the list of resources goes on and on. Also, have a look around your thrift store! They are sometimes a gold mine of bits. Photograph groups of them (or just one) and e-mail them to me (Kelly@KellyLHendrickson.com) if you have plans for these bits, please share that with us. Showing them to others will no doubt inspire creativity in all of us!

Until tomorrow then.......


  1. Great actual texture in your bits and pieces, pieces Kelly! I agree with Sue on the clocks but how creative, the pecan shells!

  2. Sue - Clocks/Time are a recurring theme with me. I love them.
    Ann - Thanks so much! They were actual pecans from my dad's tree. The Pecan series was in his honor.So...it made sense to add actual pecans.


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